“Learning Experience 10: Deciding What to Teach: Using the Scriptures and the Teacher Manual,” New-Teacher Training Resource: A Teacher-Improvement Companion to the Gospel Teaching and Learning Handbook (2016)
“Learning Experience 10,” New-Teacher Training Resource
This learning experience covers the following concepts:
An introduction to the teacher manual
Adopting and adapting the curriculum
Using the teacher manual and the scriptures to prepare a lesson
Sister Murray has enjoyed teaching a Gospel Doctrine class a couple of times each month in her ward. While she is excited to be a newly called seminary teacher, she wonders how she will prepare an effective lesson every day: “Preparing and teaching a lesson every day seems like a huge commitment. What resources are available to help me?”
Preparing a lesson every weekday can seem like a daunting and time-consuming task.
Watch the video “Introduction to the Teacher Manual” (4:01), available on ChurchofJesusChrist.org. In this video, you will learn how to use the scriptures and the teacher manual to prepare lessons effectively and efficiently.
Note: If you have not yet received a teacher manual, contact your supervisor. You can also find all manuals on ChurchofJesusChrist.org/si/institute/manuals for institute manuals and ChurchofJesusChrist.org/si/seminary/manuals for seminary manuals.
The seminary and institute teacher manuals are designed to help you incorporate the Fundamentals of Gospel Teaching and Learning as you prepare and teach each lesson.
Watch the video “The Fundamentals in the Curriculum” (2:15), available on ChurchofJesusChrist.org. As you watch, look for how the seminary and institute teacher manuals help teachers incorporate the Fundamentals of Gospel Teaching and Learning in each lesson.
President Dallin H. Oaks of the First Presidency taught the following regarding how teachers should use seminary and institute curriculum materials:
“We first adopt, then we adapt. If we are thoroughly grounded in the prescribed lesson that we are to give, then we can follow the Spirit to adapt it” (“A Panel Discussion with Elder Dallin H. Oaks” [Seminaries and Institutes of Religion satellite broadcast, Aug. 7, 2012]).
As seminary and institute teachers, we adopt the curriculum in the teacher manual and adapt it to meet our students’ needs.
Adopting the curriculum means reading and immersing yourself in the scriptures and the prescribed lesson in your teacher manual. The curriculum helps you understand the scriptures, the intent of the inspired scripture authors, the converting principles, and basic doctrine. Trust the content and use it in your classroom.
Adapting the curriculum means you customize the lesson as the Spirit directs in order to meet the needs of individual students and to help them succeed.
As you use your teacher manual effectively, you can prepare edifying lessons that don’t require hours of preparation time.
Watch the video “Curriculum Overview” (4:45), available on ChurchofJesusChrist.org. This video summarizes how using your scriptures and the teacher manual together can help you prepare effective lessons for your students.
Watch the video “Using the Scriptures and the Teacher Manual” (5:11), available on ChurchofJesusChrist.org. In this video, Sister Wilson shares important counsel about using the scriptures and curriculum together in lesson preparation. As you watch, look for important ideas to remember as you prepare your lessons.
The scriptures are your source for teaching material, and the teacher manual is your resource for preparing your lesson.
The curriculum is organized in a way to help you prepare lessons effectively and efficiently.
You can adopt and adapt the curriculum to meet students’ needs.
As you adapt the curriculum, carefully consider your students’ needs and the promptings of the Holy Ghost.
You can meet students’ needs as you prepare lessons using the curriculum effectively.
“Those called by the prophet to assure the correctness of doctrine taught in the Church review every word, every picture, every diagram in that curriculum which you receive. We can unlock the power of the curriculum simply by acting on our faith that it is inspired of God. …
“Sticking with the content of the curriculum as well as its sequence will unlock our unique teaching gifts, not stifle them” (Henry B. Eyring, “The Lord Will Multiply the Harvest” [evening with a General Authority, Feb. 6, 1998], 4, 5).
To conclude this learning experience, write down some things you will do based on the principles you have learned today.